What GCSEs do you need to be an electrician?
If you are thinking about a career as an electrician, you would not be alone. It is one of the most popular trades, offers a fantastic salary and gives great flexibility and opportunities for those that are suitably qualified. The GCSE requirements for electricians are outlined below.
Electrician – a great career for the technically minded
If you are the kind of person who loves testing, troubleshooting and repairing electrical and technical equipment, then a job as an electrician could be for you. We call them ‘Tech Heads’, and construction always needs them. Take the personality test on our website and find out what personality type you are. This will help to give you an idea of the kind of job role you may be suited for.
What does an electrician do?
As an electrician you will be responsible for ensuring the safety of electrical equipment. This could involve fixing problems that are reported or installing new systems such as lighting and heating within new structures.
Some of the main things an electrician does are to inspect electrical systems, wiring and equipment to ensure they are safe and functioning properly; fix electrical faults or replace parts, connect sockets, switches, light fittings and appliances, and lay cables to power and computer networks.
Which subjects will help you become an electrician?
There are a number of routes available to becoming an electrician, from enrolling on a college course or taking an apprenticeship, to starting work straight from school. Most, if not all of these, ask for a number of GCSE passes.
If you are applying for an advanced apprenticeship with an electrical contractor, you will usually require five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. For college or training courses, you need at least two GCSEs for a Level 2 course (equivalent to an intermediate apprenticeship).
English and maths are the only essential subjects, and only then if you are applying for an advanced (Level 3) apprenticeship. A science subject (such as physics) is also helpful, but not essential.
Becoming an electrician without GCSEs
It is still possible to start training to become an electrician even if you have no GCSE passes at grades 9 to 4. School leavers with good practical skills could get work as an electrician’s mate, trainee or assistant. The electrical contractor you are working for could then help you to become more qualified.
Check-out the latest electrician opportunities
Find out more about a career as an electrician
Read our detailed guides to electrical jobs and find out about the entry requirements for apprenticeships, training courses or direct entry:
Explore all careers in construction
Electricians are in high demand in the construction industry, and having electrical skills will qualify you for a variety of roles. Go Construct has detailed insights and summaries of over 170 different career paths in the construction industry, so even if a career as an electrician is not for you, there is plenty more to explore.